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What does 5ATM and 10ATM stand for
January 22, 2017 Robin

What does 5ATM and 10ATM stand for

Posted in Watch Specifications

The water resistant of a watch is today a key selling point for watch brands to gain competitive advantage and it is often stamped or engraved at the back of the watch. Although for most consumers it is a bit unclear what the different water resistant measures actually mean. This journal will clarify a few things about the water resistant of watches.

What does water resistant really mean? 

Basically water resistant, or waterproof as it is sometimes referred to, indicates how well the timepiece is sealed against the ingress of water. This is commonly measured with a static pressure test of a newly manufactured watch were the watch is exposed to leakage. The result is usually transformed into the unit ATM, short for atmospheres with an equivalent water depth in meters.

The most commonly used classifications are 3ATM, 5ATM and 10ATM. So for example a watch with 3ATM can handle the water pressure at 30 meters depth without leakage. A watch with 5ATM can handle the water pressure at 50 meters depth without leakage, although it is important to remember that these numbers can be a bit misleading. The indication of a test pressure in terms of water depth does not mean a water resistant watch was designed for repeated long-term use in such water depths. So to provide a perspective, a watch classified as 30 meters water resistant is only expected to withstand rain and not swimming or even showering, let alone continue to function at 30 meters under water.

What about NorthTwentytwo?

Since our vision is to design and create watches crafted for the harsh and varied yet beautiful climate of the North all of our collections have higher ATM classifications that our competitors within the same price range. Our Nord collection is 5ATM waterproof meaning it for example can be used while swimming, fishing and hiking. Our Arkipelag collection is 10ATM waterproof meaning it can for example be used while swimming in deeper waters, snorkeling and surfing.

Keep in mind that even though the watchcase itself can handle water some wristbands cannot, like our genuine leather wristbands. Luckily we thought of this as well, offering a stainless steel wristband option in every collection that tolerates water. If you have any questions about water resistant watches do not hesitate to comment below or email us at

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